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Pt 2. Ways to be Neighbourly during the Coronavirus outbreak

27 March 2020
four ways to be neighbourly during the coronavirus outbreak

Here at Neighbourly, we’ve been inspired and amazed to see the incredible efforts from local communities across the country in the last week.

Since the first edition of our blog ‘Pt 1. How to support your local community during the Coronavirus outbreak’, M&S, Coca-Cola European Partners, Danone UK & Ireland, ALDI and Lidl have put a total of almost £500k into our new Community Fund which is providing micro-grants to over 1,000 local good causes registered on Neighbourly, during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Lidl has also set up customer food donation points in stores and begun work on putting together food and supply boxes to be distributed to those who are vulnerable during the outbreak through its Feed It Back Campaign – and that’s just the news at Neighbourly.

Out there in the community, nearly half a million people have signed up to volunteer for the NHS during the crisis and we’re hearing and seeing hundreds of heart warming stories of people supporting others in a myriad of different ways – from virtual dance parties to stop loneliness to neighbourhood groups dropping supplies to those in need.

We know so many people want to get involved and help in as many ways as possible, so we’ve put together our “part two” of tips for how to best help your community.

Volunteering

For anyone wanting to lend a hand to help the NHS, the way to sign up is via Good Sam. Once you’ve signed up to volunteer, they will alert you on opportunities to help in your local area with everything from transferring patients home once they’re well enough to be discharged from hospital, to assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

If seeing all this volunteering happen has inspired you, you can also sign up to become a Red Cross Reserve Volunteer to help both now and in any future emergencies.

(Please note: Volunteer Red Cross and NHS Responders are no longer being accepted at the moment but check back again in the future.)

Neighbourhood groups

With so many amazing people keen to help, some streets can have multiple volunteers willing to go out of their way to help neighbours in need.

To help create a more collaborative and joined up approach, many of these volunteers are coming together to agree on one person being the main point of contact for their neighbourhood or street. This makes it much easier for those who are vulnerable to know exactly who to contact if the need help.

Using social media and chat apps, the main point of contact can coordinate within their volunteer group for each task that comes in.

With one point of contact willing to link with multiple people offering help, problems can be solved much more efficiently.

If you don’t know of any other volunteers in your area and still want to help, we’ve created a Neighbourly card you can print out and pop through your neighbour’s doors to let them know you’re there for them.


self isolating coronavirus help card neighbourly


Virtual fundraising

If you’re one of the many people left saddened by a cancelled fundraising event you’ve been working hard on, don’t despair. Try taking to your webcam and coming up with a whacky idea to raise funds for local charities from your sofa. There are plenty of free tools out there to help such as Zoom video conferencing and Facebook Live.

We asked the Neighbourly team for some of their ideas for virtual fundraisers to get you started:

  • Virtual quiz or ‘pub’ night
  • Virtual talent competition
  • Virtual fancy dress contest
  • Back garden marathon
  • Street sing-off (from your windows!)

To find local charities and community groups that need your best fundraising efforts, head to the Neighbourly website.

Community Kindness

Finally, you may have noticed rainbows appearing in the windows of your neighbour’s flats and houses. This was started to bring cheer for children on walks round their neighbourhood.

Popping a rainbow in your window is an easy way to make a friendly gesture to your neighbours.

Just remember, you don’t have to be an artist to draw a rainbow – and you don’t need to be a child to go rainbow spotting either!



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(Image Credit: Rowan Clark)

If you liked this blog and want more advice, check out part one of how to help your local community during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you share it on Twitter, don’t forget to follow and tag us @nbrly.

New fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during Coronavirus crisis

20 March 2020
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Here at Neighbourly we know now, more than ever, how important it is to support local communities. That's why we've set up a new Community Fund, backed by our partner businesses, to support the Neighbourly causes that will be most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

M&S Family (including M&S Bank and M&S Energy), Lidl, Aldi, Danone UK & Ireland and Coca-Cola European Partners have created a new fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during the Coronavirus crisis and are urging other businesses to join them.

The Neighbourly Community Fund will funnel vital funds directly to community causes across the UK to ensure they can deliver essential services to those most at risk during the crisis. Our partners have committed a combined total of almost £500,000 to the Fund, to provide immediate micro-grants to community organisations that are helping the people most affected by the outbreak, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity. And they are calling on other businesses to join them and contribute to the fund to build a coordinated response.

We know that many small charities and community groups face severe disruption to their services as a result of Covid-19, following a reduction in the number of volunteers and donations. These unrestricted grants will initially go to existing Neighbourly members across the UK and Ireland, including foodbanks, homeless shelters, care homes, youth groups and health charities. Some charities have told us they need urgent support to carry on running their core services, while others are adapting and starting new services to support people in the community.

Community causes supported through the fund will include organisations like The Moorlands Community Charity, which provides Meals on Wheels services for older people near Hull. Jacky Crawford, head of service there, told us: “The need for our services will increase over the coming weeks as many older people self-isolate, but without urgent help to get hold of more supplies, we just won’t be able to sustain our support.”

The immediate micro grants of up to £400 will go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials. By co-ordinating the emergency response, we will be able to assess where the most urgent gaps in support are, and where to direct funds to.


Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, has commented:

"One of the things that makes me most proud to work at M&S is the role we play in our local communities. Not just through the brilliant service our colleagues give to our customers, but through the time and energy they give to helping those most in need. We can’t do this on our own and so we partner with organisations like Neighbourly who link our stores to local causes so we can donate surplus food and non-food products to the people who really need it. This fund will help mobilise over 1,000 local charities and organisations across the UK to support the most vulnerable members of our community. The whole M&S family is getting involved - including M&S Bank and M&S Energy – so we can keep up the support communities need most as events unfold."


Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said:

“We are living in unprecedented times, and it’s essential that we look after those who need it most – that’s why our ‘Feed it Back’ scheme with Neighbourly is more important than ever. Through our store connections, and through this additional donation, we are able to directly support groups who are out in our communities doing an exceptional job of looking after the most vulnerable.”


Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, added:

“Neighbourly makes a huge difference in the communities they support, making sure surplus food and other donations get to those who need it most. That’s why, as a long-term partner, we’re committed to helping them throughout the year. The additional support provided through this fund is critical in ensuring Neighbourly causes have the support they need to continue making a positive difference to the most vulnerable in our society during this particularly difficult time.”


Leendert Den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners commented:

“There is nothing more important than communities at a time like this, and we fully support the excellent work Neighbourly is doing to ensure those of us most at risk are equipped with essential supplies and services through this difficult period.”  


James Pearson, Managing Director of Danone UK & Ireland, said:

“Working closely with communities has always been important to Danone and forms a core part of our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision. We are committed to supporting our local communities and are proud to be a founding member of the Neighbourly Community Fund to help organisations on the front line in this time of uncertainty.”


The launch of the fund follows a new survey of Neighbourly’s front-line charity and community partners, which showed:

  • 77 percent of charities supporting older people expect services to be disrupted, with 75 percent of organisations who support young people fearing the same
  • More than 60 percent of charities have already seen a reduction in food surplus donations in recent weeks.
  • 75 percent of organisations expect to provide emergency provision after schools close

According to government statistics, 3 million children are at risk of going hungry while they are out of school; 1 million children who receive free school meals during term time, and another 2 million children who are ineligible for free school meals but are growing up in households in in-work poverty. Our network of charity partners estimate that with the additional pressures created by coronavirus, they expect to support an average of almost 180 people each week with emergency provision such as food and basic essentials. 


We know that what is needed by community groups and charities today will be very different over the weeks and months to come. Through our nationwide network of vetted good causes we will work closely with our partners to ensure the right support is directed to those places in most urgent need.


UK food waste down by 7%, says WRAP

24 January 2020
royal albert hall

According to the latest report from sustainability not-for-profit organisation WRAP, the past three years has seen a 7% reduction per person in the UK's total food waste - that's a whopping 480,000 tonnes.

The report has come as part of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 (C2025), a voluntary agreement that brings together organisations across the food system to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.

A number of factors have been cited as contributors to this welcome reduction in food waste, including WRAP's own 'Love Food Hate Waste' campaign, improved household food waste collection across the UK and clearer labelling on food packaging.

The Courtauld Commitment doesn’t just aim to tackle food waste at a household level however. Since the commitment kicked off in 2007 they have been tackling waste across the entire supply chain – from farm gate to fridge.

Promisingly, the report also reveals that households and businesses are now tackling the problem at an accelerated rate, with a greater rate of progress from 2015 to 2018 than over the preceding five years.

Increased momentum is good news considering there is still a lot more to do in order to reach the C2025's goal of reducing the UK’s food and drink waste by 20% by 2025.

Business surplus success

One of the strategies WRAP has in common with Neighbourly is our commitment to using redistribution as one of the strategies that can be used to tackle business waste. And with a 96% increase in food surplus being redistributed between 2015 and 2018, this is clearly something that’s working.

At Neighbourly, we know that surplus food isn't a long-term solution to poverty. However, whilst as a country we waste 9.5 million tonnes of food every year, we believe we should be respectful of the world's resources by diverting as much as possible to feed people in need.

To date, Neighbourly partnerships with M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Innocent and more has meant that the platform redistributed over 9,300 tonnes, equivalent to over 22 million meals, of edible food surplus to charities and community groups across the UK and Ireland.

Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth comments: “We work with all our retailer partners to support them as they look to continually improve commercial and operating efficiency and minimise waste.

“Where surplus product is available, we have seen a growing increase in engagement with Neighbourly to help the industry redistribute even more of what they have available for donation to local good causes.”

What’s next?

If you’re a business looking to reduce waste by donating food or surplus stock find out more about how Neighbourly can help by getting in touch.

Alternatively, WRAP has developed an industry-wide food waste roadmap and toolkit that can be used to get started.


Aldi stores across England, Scotland and Wales embrace the season of giving this Christmas

28 October 2019
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Aldi is embracing the season of goodwill once again this year, and is calling on charities and community groups across England, Scotland and Wales to register so that they can collect food donations this Christmas Eve.

Following the launch earlier this year of the successful partnership with Neighbourly, 95% of Aldi stores are now donating surplus food up to five days a week, all year round. Christmas provides an opportunity for even more charities to benefit from the initiative and we are therefore calling on all charities and community groups in England, Scotland and Wales to get in touch for a Christmas Eve donation.

As part of the Christmas initiative, charities and community groups will be paired with local stores and can collect fresh food products that are near the end of their shelf life such as fruit, vegetables, fresh meat, fish and bread after the store closes at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Last Christmas, Aldi donated just under half a million meals to charities across the UK, and is hoping to increase this for Christmas 2019, spreading Christmas cheer to even more families.

Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “Our Christmas food donation scheme is something we’re really passionate about, and we’re working with Neighbourly this year to pair as many stores up as possible. Last year we were able to reach thousands of people across the UK, and some charities were even able to prepare fresh meals that fed families well into the New Year. This is our third year of Christmas food donations and we’re hoping this year will be just as successful.”

Charitable groups interested in working with Aldi this Christmas should contact aldichristmas@neighbourly.com before Monday 11th November 2019. All groups that apply must:

  • Have a level 2 hygiene certificate gained in the last two years
  • Be a registered charity, CIC or community group
  • Be able to collect, transport and store chilled food products

It's Time To Cheer For Good!

29 November 2017
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From Wednesday 29th November it's time to get cheering!

Up until 20th December, 210 charities and their supporters nominated by Starbucks partners and customers around the UK will be raising awareness of important local causes on their Neighbourly pages and across Twitter using the hashtag #CheerForGood.

All 210 charities will receive a £500 grant from Starbucks and the 30 charities who cheer the loudest will receive £2,000!

You may recall similar festive campaigns Starbucks have run with Neighbourly over recent years. We spoke with charity St. Bernadette's BEEs Preschool who secured a £1,000 grant last year and here's what they had to say..

"It was a great opportunity not to be missed for such a small pre-school so we just picked up the pace and just went for it for it last year - I still can’t believe we secured £1000 by just tweeting and sharing our story. It’s just fantastic. 

We have worked tirelessly fundraising for our preschool, with more and more companies retracting support for small charities like our own the Neighbourly platform has become a vital lifeline to attract the support of companies.

We used the grant to purchase a new outdoor playhouse, sleepers, plants to grow our own vegetables, sand and arranged for Millers Animals to visit the preschool. Some of our children do not have access to an outdoor space at home and by bring the farm to the preschool more families were able to attend."

Now you can see all 210 charities taking part here! Want to support your favourite? Here's how:

  • Sign up to Neighbourly, follow and say hi to your charity on their project page
  • Tweet your support by including their Twitter handle and the hashtag #CheerForGood

Each charity's cheer will be measured by it's activity score on Neighbourly (followers, photos and updates posted etc.) and by the amount of tweets including their Twitter handle and the hashtag. So if you're tweeting support - don't forget to include #CheerForGood!

Every tweet you send will push your favourite charity just that little bit closer to that £2,000 grant so what are you waiting for?

Happy #CheerForGood everybody!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.


Neighbourly survey finds employees that volunteer through work are 13% happier

25 October 2017
happy worker

We recently commissioned a survey to gain greater understanding of the attitudes around happy, healthy communities and the value of volunteering, with a number of questions addressing employee volunteering and happiness. Carried out by an independent research company with 2,000 people across the UK, this survey found that employees who have volunteered with their company are 13% happier than those who have not - suggesting that employee volunteering is the route to a happier workforce and as important as benefits or environment.

A happier workforce brings a number of bottom line benefits to a business, including better staff attraction and retention; improved cost savings thanks to lower staff turnover and a reduction in lost wages; as well as a positive culture and an improvement in productivity. Our survey also found that employees who volunteer are 15% more satisfied with their lives, and that they are also 15% more likely to recommend the company they work for, helping to support the recruitment of top talent.

We've found that the benefits of a happier workforce are backed up by research by other bodies. The University of Warwick1 found that being happy made people 12% more productive, whilst a CAP study2 found that replacing an employee costs approximately 20% of their annual salary. In addition, the Centre for Mental Health has just released updated figures for the estimated cost of mental health problems to employers3 which now equates to around £1,300 per employee.

Whilst the link between happiness and volunteering may not be a new one, the benefits and wider implications for employees, employers and the community cannot be ignored. So having greater insight into the positives of volunteering couldn’t have come at a more crucial time - when smaller community projects and charities are more in need of help than ever due to the reduction in funding from the government.

With 75% of millennials considering the potential to contribute to society when choosing an employer4, the possibilities for employee volunteering are huge. As well as supporting their local communities, 85% of businesses find volunteering advances talent as part of the learning and development strategy5.

Neighbourly helps businesses to activate their social purpose at a local level by aggregating charities and community projects and creating transparency around their needs through our interactive platform. We've worked with a number of retail and FMCG brands, whose volunteers’ responses also echo the findings of the nationwide survey:

  • 72% feel volunteering allows them to apply their skills
  • 80% said the experience made them feel happier
  • 86% said it raised their company’s profile
  • 89% want to take part in more events
  • 100% said volunteering made them feel proud to work for their company

Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business at M&S, who have just completed a burst of over 340 volunteering hours as part of their 1 million hours 2025 commitment told us; ‘Our goal is to create a positive impact in society and improve peoples’ lives wherever we touch them. That’s why we encourage our employees to give up their knowledge, time, and energy to volunteer in the communities where we operate. We know from our own experience that the value of volunteering goes well beyond the impact of a single task, it actually improves employee well-being and happiness in the process.’

Find out more about employee volunteering with Neighbourly.



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References:
(1)  University of Warwick, Happiness and Productivity, February 2014
(2)  Center for American Progress, There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees, November 2012
(3)  HuffPost UK, Mental Health at Work: What No Employer Can Afford to Ignore, September 2017
(4)  Harvard Business Review, What Do Millennials Really Want At Work?, April 2016
(5)  Deloitte, Impact Survey 2016

Neighbourly launches non-food product donations

13 August 2017
zerowaste

We're delighted to announce the expansion of our food surplus scheme to include non-food product donations, with Marks & Spencer on board as the first retailer.

The extension of our award-winning food donation scheme follows research with our food charity partners earlier this year which found that 92% would like to receive non-food donations, with cleaning and laundry products and toiletries the most requested products. We also found that many are in need of kitchen equipment and furniture.

In response to this, we've expanded the platform so that the surplus scheme can now accept a wider range of products from businesses - which is a huge and exciting step forward, not just for us, but for the charities we support, the retailers we work with and the communities in which they operate. The ability to redistribute unwanted but still useful surplus items will contribute to the reduction of raw material consumption, landfill use and CO2 levels.

M&S were the first retailer to sign up to Neighbourly’s food redistribution scheme in 2015 and have been rolling out donations of chilled food including meat, dairy, poultry and prepared meals since May*. They are now asking all their stores to donate any surplus non-food items such as those that may have damaged packaging but are still fit for purpose.

Everyday items M&S will donate include batteries, bags, plant pots, cleaning and laundry products, air fresheners, personal care items and pet food. Louise Nicholls, Head of Responsible Sourcing at M&S told us: “In addition to our regular surplus food donations, the donation of non-food items forms part of our overall Plan A 2025 aim to become a zero-waste business by 2025. Being able to maximise the reuse of non-food products is not only good for our business, but it is also good for the environment and for local communities by enabling them to focus their funds on their core activities.”

Starbucks, who has worked with Neighbourly since 2014 to deliver support to hundreds of local community causes across the UK, will also be using the feature for their new Community Café programme. This will enable not-for-profit cafés to order Starbucks products and collect from their local store. These small charitable spaces, which are often embedded in their local communities, have experienced large falls in income since 2008**. The orderable Starbucks product donations include a range of kitchenware items including condiment shakers and milk steaming pitchers, in addition to food and drink such as espresso coffee and syrups.

To date, the Neighbourly surplus scheme has redistributed over 1,500 tonnes of surplus food – the equivalent of around 1.8 million meals. Over 700 charities have so far joined, and together they provide around 95,000 meals each month to their communities using the donated food. The charities range from homeless shelters, food banks and soup kitchens to community centres, schools, clubs and more.

Non-food items now accepted by the surplus scheme include (but are not limited to) laundry and household items; toiletries; baby care; pet supplies; furniture; electrical items; technology items; kitchenware; clothing and textiles; toys; sports equipment; books; garden items; and painting and DIY equipment.


Get involved

Charities: sign up to Neighbourly and request an alert for the type of products you're interested in within a certain geographical area. Your alert can range from a broad category, such as all household items, to more specific items, like books or pet supplies. If surplus becomes available, you'll receive an alert which you can accept before picking the products up from the local store or warehouse. If you're interested in food donations, get in touch: food@neighbourly.com

Businesses: if your company has surplus food or products, we’d love to talk to you about redistribution. Get in touch: hello@neighbourly.com.



*Doesn't currently include franchise M&S Simply Food stores such as railway and BP stores

** Source: Institute of Public Policy Research

Food waste: How we can accelerate the pace of change

2 May 2017
bananas2

The problem of food waste in England is piling up. If the case hadn’t already been made strongly enough, Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has labelled the economic, environmental and social effects as ‘grotesque’. Its recently published report on Food Waste in England was brought forward as the election was called, and they ask their successor committee to return to the issue, but it still makes for a clarion call to action to tackle the problem of food waste.

For all of us seeking to reduce food waste and to support redistribution there are important points to understand and respond to, which I’ve set out here. And there are areas where the report could go further to take on the problem, in my view, to accelerate the pace of change.

The report shows that there are real challenges in how the waste system is currently set up. The accepted waste hierarchy puts reduction first, then redistribution, and then way to dispose of unused food. But in practice the incentives either aren’t known or don’t exist to the level needed to enforce this structure in practice. Along with publicising the current incentives, there is an interesting recommendation for a fund to be set up. What this adds up to is the need for a business case to be built. It simply has to make more sense to reduce first, then redistribute food, not only because it is irrefutably the right thing to do, but because it makes for good business.

Then there is the issue of more and better data and transparency. One of things we’ve always stood for at Neighbourly is the transparency of donations. We’re working with our clients on more and better data for redistribution. The sheer weight of data and the reality that it wasn’t necessarily set up to report what we need means we have a mountain to climb. It’s an area that would benefit from real investment and cross industry collaboration.

It’s also very positive to see that WRAP and the work of Courtauld 2025 gets support. The Food Surplus Redistribution Working Group of Courtauld 2025 is a positive, collaborative effort. But Courtauld needs to be allowed to drive a strong vision and go a lot faster. The support that the Committee asks for WRAP can give it the resources it needs to accelerate its work. And extending the membership to include more manufacturers, as well as strengthening the commitment itself, can only be a good thing.

There are some critical sections of the report for food charities too, which deserved to make the recommendations more clearly. Our research with the Food Foundation, which formed part of our co-hosted seminar with the Food Standards Agency showed a snapshot of the critical capacity gaps charities face. Our FundAFridge campaign, kindly supported by Lidl, helped around 50 charities get a new fridge or freezer, helping them keep food safe and fresher for longer. 

Charities can also get funds and volunteers for their work, as well as food, through Neighbourly. This kind of support is critical, and there are many ways to support, for example the Committee talks about how haulage companies can help with the transport challenges. What we need to see is a Government supported campaign to get more support and resources to food charities for the incredible work they do, and companies who can help in so many ways from transport providers, to volunteers with logistics, data or marketing skills, to community fundraisers, corralling to creatively help address these gaps. 

It’s time for us all to focus our energy behind this issue. The case has been made, the need is clear, so let’s unlock some of this latent potential and take on the problem together.


Find out about distributing your surplus through Neighbourly.

Want to join our scheme as a food recipient? Email food@neighbourly.com

Lidl and M&S on how Neighbourly is helping them tackle food waste

9 March 2017
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Lidl UK recently signed up as the second major retail partner for Neighbourly, joining Marks & Spencer (M&S) which is nearly two years into its partnership with the social venture. The Drum catches up with them about how it's going and why this isn't about marketing.

Read the full Drum article here.


Unlocking potential: Priorities for the UK to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

1 March 2017
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I’ll start with a confession. When a colleague asked me after a meeting of the High-Level Panel on what was then called the ‘Post-2015 Development Framework’ what I thought the chances were of achieving a coherent, actionable set of goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, I said “it looks like it’s going to be a Christmas Tree – everyone wants to hang their issues on it, without thinking what it will look like when it’s done”. 

 

Not for the first time, I was wrong. By the General Assembly in 2015, the seemingly impossible had been achieved: UN member states speaking with one voice saying “On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Goals and targets”. And it was done with the views of many millions of people directly, and many more through their representatives, at its core.

 

At today’s UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development we came back to that central principle: the need to engage people in the delivery of the Goals. As Emily Auckland, the UKSSD Network Director put it, following a presentation by a person telling us the real meaning of the Goals for one person’s life, the SDGs are a lofty framework, about people, and about inclusion. 

 

At the start of 2017, sadly, we know that we are up against harder challenges than we foresaw before the Goals were adopted, with recent events showing us all that our communities are more divided and people more disenfranchised by global agendas than we thought. As John Elkington of Volans illustrated, we are in a U bend - dropping towards the bottom - and we can expect it to take at least 8-10 years to come out of it, but this is nonetheless an opportunity to drive change.

 

It became clear as the conference went on that much, much more needs to be done. There are many efforts and initiatives to congratulate, but these are only adding up to an incremental approach to system malfunction.

 

So how do we take on this challenge? Here are three suggestions I heard:

 

The sheer breadth of the SDGs and their language makes them hard to digest. We need to use human language, with clear specific benefits that speak to the real-world problems people are facing. Simpler actions are needed, simpler objectives set. As Jane Davidson, Director of the Wales Institute for Sustainability pointed out, devolution is an opportunity. Equally, for change driven by local authorities, who are struggling for budgets and needing to show impact, a more local voice can show how local business and individuals can be part of the change. 

 

We need a lot more action from a lot more organisations - collaborative action. And we need take this on expecting and embracing the struggle, friction and energy that comes with creating solutions to tough problems. Our very own Nick Davies from Neighbourly put it this way: we need to take the learning from good initiatives to scale and make the change exponential. Social platforms like Neighbourly can be a part of helping us deliver exponential growth. 

 

And we need you. There was an excellent suggestion from the audience in the final session that if we want personal ownership, we need to do it too, with a personal, family audit of how we live that not only helps us make a difference, but also helps us set out clearer understanding how an individual can be a part of the solution. As another audience member put it, thought leads to action, action to habit, and habit to destiny – and the SDGs are a matter of our shared destiny.

 

This time next year at the third UKSSD conference I hope we can see how these formative ideas are transforming lives and communities. We now know that we are planning for an uncertain future and the Sustainable Development Goals, and the people-centred, inclusive, approach they offer can help us build out our action plan to respond to this. It’s our responsibility to make this not just a mapping of what we are already doing, but a springboard for a sustainable future. 


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Charities: get your project started here

Businesses: email us about memberships on hello@neighbourly.com

Supporters & volunteers: sign up to be part of the Neighbourly network here